This site has more information on curbing available than any similar website on the internet.
If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please call!
Besides these Q&A’s, you can click the magnifying glass icon in the header above on most pages to search any term like “sealant”, “colour”, “profile” or whatever!
Q. Does the curb crack?
A. There are “good cracks” and “bad cracks” . The good ones happen at the control joints. The curb is supposed to crack at the “control joints” which we put approximately every 18″. The bad cracks are between joints and sometimes open up a bit. People are referring to the bad cracks when they ask if curb cracks. Yes it can crack, as all concrete does. Just like sidewalks, curbs almost always crack somewhere besides at a control joint, yet they continue to perform well.
We do a lot to minimize cracking which mainly happens in the first 4 days of curing. Using the horizontal steel option keeps the cracked pieces together. If you water the curb during the curing process, it helps minimize curing shrinkage which is the main cause of cracks in all concrete. This is why they often flood bridge decks under water to cure them right after being poured. If you have some cracks develop, don’t panic! It does not mean that the curb will crumble into oblivion next year. Very rarely do new cracks develop after the first year. Even if cracks do appear, they can be safely ignored. If grass is growing into cracks, you can stop this by simply filling the crack with inexpensive caulking available at any building centre. (see Edging page) also our GUARANTEE page
We do not generally repair cracks under warranty unless there are several in a short section in a high visibility area.
Q. Does the curb “heave”?
A. NO. In general, Curb does not heave any more than your sidewalk does. The ground moves up and down an inch or two with wet/dry, freeze/thaw cycles, so the sidewalks and curbs move with it. Curb is not as massive as a sidewalk, so it is somewhat more vulnerable to damage. Having responded to a few calls about “heaving”, we have found that most of the time, this is actually caused by driving on the curb with a vehicle.
Tree roots and mushy wet ground conditions can lift the curb, but otherwise it stays put, floating with the freeze thaw cycles in the ground. Steel cable reinforcement installed with the curb can reduce issues where curb may be subject to settling or heaving forces. Curb that has shifted for whatever reason can be realigned by prying it up and packing material underneath. PL Premium construction adhesive can be used to glue separated ends together See our “care” page.
Q. What is involved in the curbing process? is it messy, etc…?
A. It is a minimally invasive process. There is some cleanup after the concrete has cured a day or two. Click here to see our page on what to expect when you place an order.
Q. Does your curb need a sand or gravel base?
A. NO. These materials are used for drainage or fill under slabs. As the curb is narrow, it does not need drainage. Curb “floats” on the ground, and is not load-bearing, so it does not need a special base. Well compacted topsoil is adequate. Curbing puts no more load on the soil than a row of bricks.
Q. How do I plan and order curbing?
A. See our order page here
Q. How does it compare regarding COST and QUALITY?
A. Plastic edging installed by a landscaper costs $5.00 per foot or more, and often comes out of the ground. Aluminum edging installed is about $10 per foot. These have no margin, so the wheels or blade of your mower run into it, or into your beds.
Landscapers charge about $14.00 per foot for paver-edging. Pavers look good the first two years, then the grass grows into every crack, and you will regret you installed all those little blocks! Our curb installed costs much less than the common smooth edge and cobble combination, but outlasts it many times over.
When you use block or brick products, the materials alone can cost you more per foot than our installed curb, and installation can be a TEDIOUS job!
Q. Why does your curb cost so much less?
A. Best Curb is priced LOWER than our competitors because we have a better more efficient system of production, and far more experience, so we can offer a better price. Our machinery is properly sized, powered and custom built by ourselves with numerous improvements over off the shelf equipment. We use only the best materials, and have a superior concrete mix. We cut no corners on quality ingredients. Our concrete has been independetly tested at 45mpa.
Another factor that keeps the price down is our one-visit process for stamped curbs. This puts the onus on you to reseal your curb a couple of weeks after installation. It is important for you to understand our process regarding sealant if you want a stamped curb. See our page on SEALING
Q. How does your curb differ from others?
A. Our curb is made with a similar process, but most franchise systems originate in and are designed for the southern USA climate; whereas ours is a local product, specifically designed for, and proven for 30 years in the EDMONTON ALBERTA climate. Installers often take a course in the USA and follow the instructions that will work well in a warm climate but not here.
Some installers use a “mortar” mix which lacks strength, with a thin high strength slurry coating. It will look good for a couple of years then will erode, spall, or crack more easily than our concrete. Our concrete is stronger, and we use integral colour throughout the mix, not just in the slurry coat on top. It is misleading to say one uses “integral colour” when in reality it is only coloured in the slurry coat.
Others say they have a bigger, bulkier curb, but that does not mean it performs better. In fact it may be just a very low strength mix with a lot of sand but not much cement or other important additives. We have frequently seen this type of curb crumbling away after a few years in our climate.
Some curbs stick out of the ground so high you have to mow beside them, then trim the bits of grass left by the mower wheels. What’s the point of that?
Our stamping is not as deep and colours not as contrastive as some slurry coat system curbs. But sharp deep edges can chip more easily, showing a white scar underneath. And our prices are much lower.
Q. Do you have a minimum charge?
A. Unlike our competitors, we do not charge a minimum- but realistically, it’s tough to fit you in for less than 50 feet of curb. We do small jobs to fill out our workdays, and to get our name into new neighbourhoods.
Q. Can you get into a small yard?
A. Our machines are about the size of a snowblower. We can get through gates as small as 26- 30″ wide or less.
Q. Can I do curbing when I already have grass in my yard?
A. Yes! We can do the sod cutting as required to reshape, enlarge or create new bed areas. We install the curb, and you finish by topping up your beds with soil, mulch or rock products. Curbing is a great way to give a fresh new look to your landscape. The improvement to your yard is always dramatic.
Q. Does the Curb stop grass from migrating into bed areas?
A. YES. Cultured grass sends runners only about 1-2″ at a time, so it cannot migrate under the curb. However, quackgrass cannot be stopped so easily. It helps to use a top quality landscape fabric in the bed areas to stop quackgrass from growing into the bed areas. Keep in mind, grass also migrates by seeding in the mowing process. A bit of Roundup sprayed sparingly two or three times a season in the bed areas seems to be needed to keep beds looking clean.
Q. Does the Curb require sealant?
A.YES if it is stamped. Unstamped smooth finish curb does not require sealant. You may apply one if you wish, (see links for suppliers) but our strong mix is very resistant to fading or spalling. We do apply sealant to all stamped curbs, as it preserves the stamping colour(s) in the concrete. You need to re-seal stamped curb before winter and after that every two or three years. See this blog article or SEE OUR PAGE ON SEALING.
Q. Does the curb come in colours?
A. YES. Unlike some, who tint only the top surface of the concrete, which can chip off, we tint the concrete all the way through. This is referred to as integral colour. See Colours under the choices menu
Q. Do you design the curb layout?
A. YES. our designs are very creative and attractive. Over 1/2 million feet of great designs have been done by us. See our galleries . We can come to your place for a free estimate, help you to plan attractive shapes for the bed areas and leave you with a firm price. NO SURPRISES, no hidden charges. Some curbers can’t seem to create nice designs. There is some art involved. All the photos you see on this website except as clearly indicated, are our own design in consultation with the homeowners.
Q. How long does it last?
A. A very long time. 20 years or more is common with basic care ( see care page) with NO care it will overgrow with grass and weeds in 3-5 years, but can be recovered by proper edging and sealing. Continuous curbing is an investment in a product as durable as a concrete sidewalk. The main risk is driving over it when the ground is soggy. If this happens the sections can usually be adjusted into alignment with a spade and some soil or sand. See photos of Old Curb
Q. Can I paint the curb?
A. Acid staining is the only recommended means of tinting existing concrete. There are tinted sealers available too. Some people have turned their dark grey curb to Black- but it will take more maintenance down the road to keep it black. Talk to Conspec Industries or Unicon Concrete Specialties for more information